Sunday, November 28, 2010

O...M...G! Sansha invasion to the max.

Battle began in low-sec in the first of a three-tier onslaught the Sansha pitched against us.  I work with Moira, the vanguard of the Sansha response, both IC and OOC.  They work in space and in the CSM to forward the goals of a Nation-free universe.  With the upcoming Incursions people had been coming out of the woodwork to flock to Moira and Soter's leadership.  Ships, crew, ISK, stockpiles were streaming in to fuel our war machine.

When Lenar came under attack the word went out slowly.  It was downtime in Moira and our people needed a few minutes of being shacken to attention before we began streaming down from highsec or our lowsec base in Pelisle to funnel into the assaulted system.

The fact that the invasion was in lowsec was a concern, pirates of any type could crash the defense and doom whole clusters of defenders at the worst possible time.  I was gathering intel for Moira and came barrelling South-East and had the final jump gate propel me in a prosphorescent shotgun blast into Lenar.
The local chatter was awash with the usual Sansha public drivel, the craving for mindlessness, the preaching to a zombie choir.  I tuned it out, pointing my Punisher frigate to Planet 4 where the reported action was and punching the warp.

My tunnel whiplashed out of view as I spat into realspace.  A wall of battleships and frigates, the familiar spiked design throughout, sprawled before me.  Against the massive invasion fleet, backlit as it was by three guerrilla entry holes, there were a scant few players, a handful of battleships, some interceptors; New Eden hadn't formed up a response yet.  I listened to Local again as the SAnsha gloated over their successful extraction of countless poor souls on the nearby planet.  It was literally 100's to 1 odds, and their grinding menace of a blob dominated the horizon, handily at just such a range as to keep me off their agro list.  I had no cloak and no sizable fleet for support, but I blasted my afterburners to move in as close a I could before I was primaried and had to run. 

The pirate uncloaked only a thousand meters off my forward bow.  In a Dramiel he boosted toward me as fast as his ship was able.  Apparently he'd been in wait for easy, early pickings.

The wall of Sansha rippled and pushed toward us.  It was a wall of metal fire, ever advancing.  Warning klaxons inside the frigate sounded as the menacing fleet began to border on targetting range.

I and the pirate tangled.  His Dramiel sent his chunky missiles spinning in and against my hull.  Shields collapsed and it fell to my armor repairer to keep me alive long enough to figure out what to do.  I yanked her to the right and made a generous arc to come about.  He was looping to follow. I aligned as his warp scrambler knocked out my drive.  I would try to bring him into the path of the advancing Sansha, hopefully snuffing him in the process. More missiles rained down and internally sparks exploded and shot through smoke.

As the first few support ships began warping in to the defense, my Punisher exploded, and I managed to hurtle my pod to the nearest station, nearly at the center of the conflagration.  Sansha vessels ignored the station for now as they focused on funneling the humans from the planet below into their transports for processing.

As I signed for another Punisher and quickly fitted it out, the interior of the station was madness.  Residents didn't know whether to flee the system or hide in the basement.  Some people carried the belongings they could lift and scurried back and forth, scrabbling for a seat on a departing escape pod.  Here, in the departure bays of the massive station those pilots who could reasonably assure escape were in high demand.  Huge ISK offers were shouted at the captains of Covert Ops and Force Recon ships, civilians trusting in their ability to slip past the invasion and take them to safety.  I saw one single mother dragging her malnourished son through a bulkhead, having given away all her belongings for a spot on a departing Manticore.

I pushed off the confusion and relaunched.

An anonymous source had broadcast across the networks his prediction of the Lenar attack.  In the same post he divined an attack on Uedama 16 jumps away minutes later.  Lenar had come true, shockingly, and as some wondered who this mystery man was and how he came about his information, we turned our attention to Uedama.  How could we have known that what we saw there would make Lenar seem a walk in the park.

In Lenar we still did not have an appreciable strike force and in the lap of the Sansha, pirates still danced, picking of the weak.  Meanwhile the last of the transport ships carrying the kidnapped civilians rendezvoused with the Sansha fleet and they began to ooze back through the portals they had earlier opened.

\\\back in the action, I saw a single Manticore forced to uncloak, while making a run to escape the system.  The markings told me it was the same that mother had dragged her child onto, and with a gasp I watched as it too became primaried by the agressing forces; it was pounded into debris in a flash, all hands incinerated.

As more and more pilots joined up in fleet and connected on comms it was decided to make a strategic retreat to the Uedama system in expectation of a second attack.

The player fleet left some scouts in Lenar and the 40 pilots we had broke into wings to explore the various planets of the Uedama system.   The Informant had given the exact time of the Uedama attack, supposedly, and we held position, hoping we could make up for the loss in Lenar.

Five minutes before the Uedama invasion deadline, the calls came cascading down from deeper into highsec:  A major Caldari planet was under attack, on the heels of Lenar.  Conspiracy theories flew on comms, some citing the Informant as a source of disinformation.  Now 50 strong, the fleet left a pair of scouts in Uedama and ordered a withdrawal of general forces to reinforce the Caldari invasion.

Most of the fleet, anguished by the desperate calls for help echoing down from the new slaughter, had traveled only 4 jumps in the five minutes to deadline, when the scouts we had left in Uedama blared into comms that the Sansha were there, too, as predicted.  A prediction we thought was a strategic feint by the Sansha via misinformation had come true.  More questions raised, but there would be other times to investigate.  En masse we returned to Uedama, although some of the speedier ships who were a hair closer to the Caldari system simply kept on their away on orders.

While one light flight plodded to support the interior world, we came roaring into Uedama.  What we beheld at planet four was a horror;  in what was surely a record for this type of event, over 1400 Sansha ships spread themselves across the starfield enveloping their three entry holes.  It was daunting, and similar gasps came from every pilot on warp-in.  There was a supercarrier at the center of it all, tubular and dreadful.  Pod pilots were piling in now from all directions, Uedama's various gates flickering machinegun style to keep all the defenders incoming.

Now things really ramped up as most of our 50-man fleet formed up and made a stand.  We had to focus on the hundreds of frigates first to lower the scrambling rate.  It was two powerful waves crashing into each other as New Eden's best rallied and drove against the soulless interlopers.

Too numerous to count were the wildly expensive vessels that threw themselves on the flames, Tengus primarily bravely cruising through the line of fire for the greater good.  Billions were lost, pods were ejected and pilots reshipped, and again and again more and more Sansha vessels poured through into the system.
Slave Beta loomed in the core of the hairball in his supercarrier.  He spouted dogma as his forces rocked the system.  An entire planet was scrubbed clean of 4 million souls.

StalinGrad6 had concisely organized the capsuleer resistance and in true leadership fashion had planted his powerful vessel in the center of the action, raining fire down on the Beta supercarrier.

Malarthi Behemoth > In warp
Malarthi Behemoth > I need the wormhole stable!

Malarthi's people had a present in store for the Sansha, the fruition of extensive planning and logistics: a Star would cyno in in minutes.  A Star was a massive freighter filled with something along the lines of clustered thermonuclear detonators.  All ships were waiting on the order to burn outward at the appropriate time, before that monster would be hotdropped and create a nova that we hoped would swallow the bulk of the Sansha fleet.

WCPistolPete > Who's near the carrier?
SincII > I am
SincII > 29k away
Ilix E'ka > ETA on bomb freighter?
Gareth McGillicuddy > 1/3 shield left
Malarthi Behemoth > Bugging out.
Demyen > Gorrammit
Malarthi Behemoth > The Slave knew.
Malarthi Behemoth > That was 40 seconds ahead of schedule.

The Slave knew.  Sansha had their own intel, and the ships associated with the Star manoeuvre were quickly primaried and dispatched by the roiling mass of their armada.

Impossibly, to add insult to injury, there was yet another invasion, this one within the Uedama system at Planet III.  With the Star maneuver bulldozed a mass of pilots had to be diverted to this new uprising.

I don't know if the leading Sansha fleet at Planet III was destroyed in the minutes before I rejoined Squadron 3 there, but when I arrived the majority of the defense force was rung around a single Slave carrier.  Whether it was a diversionary tactic by the Sansha to allow their Planet II force to gain ground I cannot say, but long minutes passed as a massive fleet of capsuleers poured damage into that huge thing.  I lashed out and took numerous warships with it, but in time we wore it down and the invasion at Planet III was ground to a halt.
We rallied back to the original invasion area

Malarthi Behemoth > Goumeka, are you still on Beta?
luceax > DAT SANSHA :D

Slave Beta's supercarrier continued to shred defenders.

Now Althea, known to most capsulleers for her involvement in New Eden's Sansha defense, took center stack, herself roaring into the hairball and rallying all remaining pilots to focus fire on the final supercarrier.  Between her and StalinGrad6 they coaxed a ragtag force of defenders to unite in bombarding the last moral figurehead of the invasion fleet.

We had no time to wonder how the Caldari system in the interior was faring, but we had to assume it was a force similar to Lenar, that it was a feint in itself to draw us off and that what we were now grinding against was the primary thrust of the day's incursions.

Slave Beta was realized to be Heavenbound.  A Slave that had rmapaged across previous battlefields, as lead of the remaining Sansha force that pilot was primaried by the entire defense force.  We lost many ships in doing so, but en masse New Eden's defenders ignore the countless remaining cruise, bcs and battleships on the Sansha side to put an end to their figurehead.  I was locked down and bombarded as I made a close pass of the supercarrier.  My lasers lanced down into a bursting hull, and I brought her about and burned straight outward as the massive dark ship rippled, breached, then burst in all directions.

Althea Ekran > Bounty payment From:  CONCORD <br>Sent: 2010.11.27 21:49 <br><br>For your termination of Slave Heavenbound02 we have paid you the bounty that was set to his head: 5,000.00 ISK
Althea Ekran > too bad the bounty was so crappy. -_-
XPCES > link second chimera
Demyen > Dude, that blows -_-
Akrasjel Lanate > Lucky you
luceax > LOL
luceax > do we have the second killmail ?
Shpenat > Do we have logs from that E system?
Darranibal Colpia > can't believe i got a measly 300k isk bounty in exchange for nearly a billion worth of ships and modules lost
Akrasjel Lanate > Damn
D'Argent > yeah, that return is not good
Gareth McGillicuddy > antyhing else to kill, or are we done?
Shpenat > I think we are done
Pertrenius > yeah i managed to loss 2 ships and just as i got the 3. it was over
Gareth McGillicuddy > kk... thx for the fleet, FCORD.
Polar69 > there are more in <url=showinfo:5//30001377>sarekuwa</url>
Lorren Canada > more sansha?
Polar69 > so I hear.. haven't been there myself
Darranibal Colpia > screw that, not at that loss rate
Shpenat > Pilot Colpia, do you need some ISK backup?
Polar69 > what happens with all theese cans?
Lorren Canada > peeps on live saying sarekuwa is a false alert
Darranibal Colpia > do you have like a billion spare? cos other wise no
Shpenat > only 350mil
Shpenat > As I lost no ship this time I feel bit odd
Polar69 > lost a raven... :-(
Lorren Canada > :(
Ikarus Gaul > me too
Ikarus Gaul > lost a navy domi
Darranibal Colpia > lost my brand new hello kitty, and a Nighthawk, both faction fit
Ikarus Gaul > craptastic
ross2by4 > well it was great flying with you guys, im off back to, whatever it is i do :)
Ilix E'ka > o7
Lorren Canada > cheerio
Shpenat > Colpia, do you want logs?
Darranibal Colpia > sure, and please CC them to Jandice too
Ilix E'ka > can i get a cc fo my blog?
Darranibal Colpia > sure
Darranibal Colpia > Since Jandice is back, i wll begin updating the map
Shpenat > Is she in the pod right now?
Darranibal Colpia > no shes planetside
Darranibal Colpia > cane got primaried Pete, i'm flying a slasher atm
WCPistolPete > Hehe
WCPistolPete > So did my drake. ;)
Darranibal Colpia > did your drake survive?
WCPistolPete > :)
WCPistolPete > they got me to 80% shield! :O
Darranibal Colpia > smug bastard
Darranibal Colpia > :P
WCPistolPete > I kept playing range games with them
WCPistolPete > If the scram frigates started getting close I warped, then returned to my BM about 20K away
WCPistolPete > I kept the BS at about 50-70K
Lorren Canada > were the sansha salvaging the wrecks?
Darranibal Colpia > bah well i got in close among the BS and did some heavy damage, but that got me primaried the moment they realised i was using torps, despite my tiny signature (had halo implants) they pretty much popped me in one go, combat log shows 140 BS fired simul
WCPistolPete > :O lol
WCPistolPete > Maybe 140 guns ;)
Garandar2 > i got some nice kills :)
Garandar2 > and barely got out 1 time :)
WCPistolPete > I concentrated on the frigates so others could maintain warp capability.
Darranibal Colpia > [ 2010.11.27 20:25:27 ] (combat) Sansha's Tyrant aims well at you, inflicting 139.7 damage... followed bt 140 pretty identical lines lol
WCPistolPete > 20:59:38 Combat Sansha's Tyrant misses you completely.
Darranibal Colpia > okay i'm headed back to wuos, gonna hand over to WCPistolPete, since he like has a ship that isn't a smoldering black lump
D'Argent > Same, I took out more frigates than i care to think of, fast little fuckers. My AB Iskhur was having trouble keeping up until i started to scram and web them.

Just leaving you a little post-battle capsuleer chatter.  I did get CC'd on future distribution to counteract possible Sansha invasions...

From: Malarthi Behemoth
To: Ilix E'ka, 
I'm proud to report I have completed system centrality analysis, and am outputting the results below, with the caveat that these are for 13 jump results, 14 jump results and above cause burning smells to emanate from any computer I've tried to run it on.
Tash-Murkon Prime
Kor-Azor Prime
Several regions are excluded because they were low scoring. Not all of these systems are the top scorer, but they are all in the top 5. This is to facilitate movement of cargo and willingness of participants to relocate. I would not recommend using all of these locations, instead, pick several that are spatially distant and house your ships there. In this way, we can be spread across the cluster, ready to respond to a Nation attack anywhere, any time.
Malarthi Behe
Good work, Malarthi. 

This involvement in New Eden defense takes nothing away from my pursuit of my Brother.  I need to be where the action is to ask the questions, and I did broadcast my message at some choice moments when the chatter was light and I didn't think I would contribute to choking the commms.  The Dramiel which hunted me down in Lenar, it occurs to me that might have been a hit.  If so, fail.  My pod escaped, you can tell my Brother i'm not that easy.

Next up, a daring strategy to bait my nemesis.

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